They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
—Philip Larkin, “This Be the Verse”
I blame my parents for everything bad that happens to me (when I currently don’t blame myself, which is even more common). The parents are the obvious culprits. After all, they brought me to this world in the first place.
At the moment, a rare family constellation is occurring when I talk both to my father and mother. Not simultaneously, but concurrently; plus, one mustn’t know that I talk to the other (they divorced in an uncivilised manner ages ago but still bear grudge).
However, I don’t talk to my brother, who is my only sibling, and who doesn’t wish to talk. If I had a larger family, I’m perfectly sure there’d be more members with whom I wouldn’t be on speaking terms (or vice versa).
The nice thing about my talks with parents is supposed to be that I’m being a well-behaved offspring and am doing the right thing (or what). The downside is that these communications put a bit too much strain on my clinically depressed nervous system.
Talking to both of my parents, it becomes rather obvious how come I grew up to end up in the hands of psychiatrists. Some kids are naturally resilient, shut up, deal with it and survive their upbringing. Inconveniently, I was apparently a fragile, impressionable child who internalised a gazillion harmful thinking patterns.
On the thinking note, I think I forgot what my point was (if any). In lieu of a point then, let’s make a (supposedly) therapeutic selective list of what I learned from my father during our today’s phone call. (I called him once, after a year of not speaking, to say hello, and now he calls me anytime he’s drunk and feeling frisky – which is often, he is alcoholic.)
Father: How’s your so-called depression?
Me: Not great, but I’m trying to cope.
Father: Look, it’s a question of will, you just lack the willpower.
Father: So, are you finally earning enough to support yourself?
Me: No, but business is improving, this month is my best so far.
Father: “Improving” is a shitty business model, I told you you wouldn’t manage.
I probably shouldn’t take my father too seriously, but it’s difficult for me to tell apart what’s my own thinking and what’s a thinking conditioned by my upbringing. Somewhat tragically, I tend to agree with my father: “improving” isn’t good enough and depression isn’t a thing (which doesn’t prevent me from having it).